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BAE Systems Sterling Heights Facility


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Project Name

BAE Systems Sterling Heights Facility


34201 Van Dyke Avenue


Project Status


Year Completed



219,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost



BAE Systems


  • Nowak & Fraus Engineering
  • Vantage Technology Consulting Group
  • Construction Manager: Walbridge

Certifications and Designations

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Project Description

Repositioning one of the world’s largest global defense contractors onto an existing industrial site becomes a study of contrasts. A polished architectural shell harbors the robust armor products engineered and produced.

The redeveloped 80.6-acres industrial site into an advanced engineering center was the focus of a sustainable design effort that was awarded LEED Gold. The recovered site is comprised of a 4-story Engineering Building and attached high-bay Prototype Facility which sit adjacent to a reconditioned test track. The 164,000-gsf Engineering Building was designed to house 600 employees that support the engineering, operational and security needs of the complex. The 55,000-gsf Prototype Facility houses 20 vehicle bays for subsystem prototype modifications and integration, with direct access to the test track.

A strong physical architectural presence is a statement of their commitment to the local community. Siting the structure along an east/west axis provides benefits of orientation for sustainability, while canting the broad face toward a main seven lane thoroughfare increases visibility from the street. This skewed four-story, curved glass parallelogram is then canted toward the road to create a unique and commanding presence.

Transparency was a key factor in the design, as it is highly instrumental in the Client’s own identity and expressive of the environment they desire for their employees. The glass exterior allows for lucidity, while the frit pattern design on the glass adds a subtle detail to the very transparent facade.

The building is designed as a very sleek, taut crystalline form, a complete contrast to the products engineered and designed within. This association emphasizes the nature of the armored products and their purpose. They are not just weapons of war but the protection for our young soldiers who place themselves in harm’s way. The armor that is engineered and built here saves lives.
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